Friday, August 31, 2012

Public Sector Banks, including SBI set out on a talent drive

 "Public sector banks in the country face a tremendous 
challenge with respect to talent and leadership skill availability.
Estimates put the manpower shortfall at four to five lakh."
 
Bangalore & Kolkata, August 30: Public sector banks (PSBs) including Punjab National Bank, IDBI, State Bank of India and Bank of India are altering their talent strategies to focus on performance and employee engagement. The banks are also lining up incentives such as paid holidays abroad, leadership and training programmes at top b-schools.
 
"Public sector banks in the country face a tremendous challenge with respect to talent and leadership skill availability. Estimates put the manpower shortfall at four to five lakh," said Padmaja Alaganandan, executive director - consulting at PwC Consulting. Bridging the shortfall requires focus on fast-tracking high potential talent, she added.
 
The increased focus on performance has resulted in top business schools like IIMs witnessing an increase in executive management programmes taken up by banks to understand leadership, strategy, customer orientation and employee engagement. "Although the numbers of PSBs (around 2 per cent) are small when compared to other sectors, we have seen a more active interest in open programme participation this year," says Alex Manappurathu, chief programme officer (executive education), IIM-Bangalore.
 
At IIM-Bangalore, SBI, Bank of India, State Bank of Travancore, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Karnataka Bank are among the public sector banks that have participated in open/custom programmes in the last three years, catering to the GMs and DGMs.
 
SBI has effected a complete overhaul of its talent assessment and engagement programmes. There is a new appraisal system. Senior managers will now have a performance review twice a year. The bank has tied up with Harvard Business School for online training programmes for its senior management. "We are now recruiting aggressively. These engagement methods will help us retain our employees and get more to join us," said a senior SBI HR executive who did not wish to be named.
 
Another bank that plans to provide global exposure to its employees is Punjab National Bank that has tied up with a business School in Singapore to train their middle and senior management on leadership skills. Last year, the bank started a grievance portal for employees called "Samadhaan" through which an employee can mail problems related to promotions, or managerial hiccups to the chairman directly.
 
"For junior and middle management, our salaries match the private banks and our attrition is not high," said Sushma Bali, GM-HR for PNB. Nonetheless, the bank is overhauling its employee engagement and performance management processes.

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